How to Help Allergies with Bee Pollen

Three Parts:Choosing The Right Bee PollenUsing Bee Pollen To Treat AllergiesUnderstanding Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is the ball of pollen packed by the worker bees into small pellets. Its composition depends on where the bee pollen comes from. Different bee pollens from different areas vary in their antibacterial and antioxidant activity as well as the capacity to benefit those with allergies.[1][2] As a general rule, if you are interested in using bee pollen for treating allergies, you want to get local bee pollen to deal with your local allergies.

Part 1
Choosing The Right Bee Pollen

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    Choose the right bee product. There are many different products made from bees. Bee pollen is one. Bee pollen is the tiny pellets of pollen collected on bees while they fly. It can contain bee saliva.[3] Bee pollen comes in it's natural raw form, or also in tablets or capsules.
    • Bee pollen is better raw. Never heat it because it loses any helpful enzymes. You can just scoop out the pellets and take it plain, or you can sprinkle it in your food.
    • Bee pollen is not the same as honey, honeycomb, royal jelly, or bee venom. Some believe that other bee products, like honey and royal jelly, can help with allergies.[4][5]
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    Find a local supplier. Bee pollen from your area is the most effective for treating your allergies. When you decide to take bee pollen, try to find a local supplier so that you can be desensitized to local allergens.
    • Local means the pollen should be collected by bees in areas that contain the same plants as the allergens.[6]
    • If there are no local suppliers, do the research and find a supplier with a good reputation for pure products and one who can supply a bee pollen with a broad range of plant components.
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    Look for color. When you are choosing a bee pollen, look for a lot of color. A variety of color suggests that the pollen has come from multiple plants, which helps you fight off allergens from various sources.[7]
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    Know where to buy bee pollen. You can buy local bee pollen in a few different places, depending on your area. Natural grocery stores, like Whole Foods, or natural health stores may carry local bee pollen. Often, you can find bee pollen at the community farmer’s market. If there are farms in your area who sell honey, you may be able to purchase bee pollen there, too.[8]
    • You may be able to search online for retailers, markets, or farms who sell bee pollen in your area.

Part 2
Using Bee Pollen To Treat Allergies

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    Take a trial dose. Before you take a lot of bee pollen, ingest a trial dose to see how your body reacts to it. Start with ⅛ teaspoon of the pellets. Wait for at least 24 hours to determine that you are not experiencing any adverse reactions.
    • Another way you can do a trial dose is by starting with a single pellet of bee pollen and placing it in your mouth. Increase slowly each day to gauge your reaction or tolerance.[9]
    • Adverse reactions range from severe asthma attacks and anaphylactic reactions to mild skin rashes. Anaphylactic reactions and asthma attacks can be life threatening, so be cautious.
    • Tell your physician about any reactions that you experience.
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    Incorporate bee pollen slowly. If you don’t experience any negative side effects after 24 hours, you can slowly incorporate bee pollen into your daily activities. Slowly increase the amount of bee pollen by ⅛ teaspoon every day.
    • A typical daily dose is ½ to two teaspoons of bee pollen throughout the allergy season.[10]
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    Start a month ahead of time. To get maximum benefit, you should start incorporating bee pollen into your daily routine a month before your allergies usually start. Then, keep using the bee pollen throughout the allergy season to help reduce your allergies.[11]
    • For fall allergies, make sure to buy bee pollen that was harvested in the fall. If you have spring allergies, make sure to buy bee pollen harvested in the spring.

Part 3
Understanding Bee Pollen

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    Know the benefits of bee pollen. Bee pollen, in general, is high in amino acids, antioxidants, and fatty acids. It is also rich in minerals, such zinc, copper, iron, and potassium, as well as vitamins like vitamin A, E, and the B complex vitamins. Bee pollen tends to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.[12]
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    Understand how bee pollen affects allergies. The ability of bee pollen to desensitize against hay fever has only been tested in a few small studies, and the results of these studies were generally positive.[13][14] Desensitization is a treatment process used to modify the allergic response.[15][16] Bee pollen helps you build up defenses against allergens.
    • Bee pollen and bee pollen extracts have been shown to decrease the release of histamine, the substance whose activity results in most of the misery of allergy, which helps reduce the itching, the runny nose, the watery eyes, and the sneezing.[17]
    • In a number of human studies, allergies to grass pollen, house dust, and hay fever have been successfully treated with bee pollen.[18]
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    Know who may be at risk. Bee pollen has not been tested on children or women who are pregnant. Because of this, these groups may be at risk. It is not recommended that you give bee pollen to anyone under 12, to any woman pregnant or nursing, or to anyone with asthma.[19]
    • Be aware that some people have adverse reactions to bee pollen. Severe allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock, have occurred in some cases.[20]
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    Discuss taking bee pollen with your physician. Talk to your physician and let them know that you are considering bee pollen as a treatment. She may have some suggestions pertinent to your specific situation.[21]
    • Check with your doctor if you take any medications or other herbal supplements before taking bee pollen.

Sources and Citations

  1. Carpes, ST, et al. "Study of preparations of bee pollen extracts, antioxidant and antibacterial activity." Ciência e Agrotecnologia 31.6 (2007): 1818-1825.
  2. Almeida-Muradian, L. B., et al. "Chemical composition and botanical evaluation of dried bee pollen pellets." Journal of food composition and analysis 18.1 (2005): 105-111.
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Article Info

Categories: Allergies and Immunization